A Fiscal Lesson For Kaepernick’s Naysayers

All of the buzz in the sports world in recent days has revolved around one man.  One company. One ad. Nine words.

“Believe in something.  Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

These words plastered on top of a black and white photograph of Colin Kaepernick’s face is the headliner of Nike’s 30 year anniversary of its “Just Do It” campaign, and it has sent the world into a storm.  There have been countless responses with wide ranges of feedback, many proud of Colin and Nike for standing up for an issue they deem as important, but many utterly disappointed and feel that this is a disgrace to our troops, flag, and nation as a whole.  Many in the latter group had extreme anger evoked from the campaign, and took comparatively extreme measures in order to “get back” at Colin and Nike. These “protests” if I can even call them that are meant to harm Nike for this horrible deed of making an effective ad campaign.  They feel that they are hurting Nike economically, doing their part to run this Anti-American company into the ground. Thankfully, many aren’t taking such extreme measures. While upset about the new campaign, Kaepernick exercising his first amendment right doesn’t seem to have driven them insane; yet at least.  They are simply returning to the old reliable, social media, to chime in their two cents on the situation. So, Shoe Burners and Internet Trolls, this is my sarcastic lesson in financial literacy for you, and it’s free! Maybe you could learn a thing or two about money and go into Wall Street or something like that, because politics most definitely are not in your future considering you clearly don’t understand how the first amendment works.  So, let’s get to it…

Before I go any further with this somewhat snide and sarcastic article, I’d like to throw in a serious disclaimer.  My political opinions and biases very clearly come out in this piece, and if you are only here for sports talk this may not be for you.  And I totally respect that. You could stop reading the article right here and I won’t fault you, and I’ll be back with my regularly scheduled programming very shortly.  But, I do personally believe that there is an important intersection in the world of politics and the world of sports. I don’t think that Laura Ingraham could have been any further off with her “Shut up and dribble” comments made with regards to Lebron James and Kevin Durant talking politics.  Many athletes are the face, and more importantly the voice, for many underprivileged and underrepresented groups in the American Political bubble. Many athletes know what it is like to live in certain environments that oftentimes seem to be systematically oppressed and ignored, and have enough of a loyal following to make a difference.  Athletes like JJ Watt and LeBron James have raised millions for various movements and relief efforts, and athletes like Muhammad Ali and, dare I say it, Colin Kaepernick have led the charge in many crucial political and social movements. They are key aspects to the essence of American politics.

All of that being said, let’s revert our attention back to our beloved pyromaniac Shoe Burners.  This practice has become somewhat of a viral trend, similar in popularity to the Ice Bucket Challenge, the Harlem Shake, and even that blue and black (that’s right it was blue and black) dress.  If you are yet to see one of these cinematic masterpieces, let me explain. People who disagree with Nike’s choice for the face of their new campaign have taken up the practice of burning their own clothing.  They have created bonfires in their backyard, thrown their shoes into their fireplaces, and some of the most courageous have burned their shoes while they were still on their feet. They then get their buddy to come film the ceremonial shoe burning while yelling things such as “To hell with Nike and that washed up snowflake Kaepernick!” or “This is what you get when you mess with American troops!” and then they shotgun a beer or do something else unnecessary and “manly” or “American” after.  Yep. You really showed them. You burned your own clothes. This is where the fiscal lesson begins. How exactly are you hurting Nike or Colin Kaepernick? You already spent money on those shoes. Burning them once they are already in your possession doesn’t change that. You aren’t harming Nike economically in the slightest. In fact, I’ll take it one step further and say that you are helping them monetarily. Nike Inc. pays millions upon millions of dollars a year to market online and on social media.  You are giving them more publicity than they normally have, by an obscene percentage, and giving it to them for free. Nike’s comments and mentions on social media rose by 1,678% in the days following the release of the new campaign. Their publicity is skyrocketing, and they don’t need to spend a dime, and that’s all thanks to your generous donations of time and apparel Shoe Burners! But Adam, you’re so stupid, not all publicity is good publicity.  Even though their mentions are going up it doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.  We are spreading negativity around the company which will hurt their sales.  Well, hypothetical Shoe Burner, I’m glad you brought that up.  While I agree that, in many cases, not all publicity is good publicity, it seems this is not one of those cases.  Since the release of the ad, Nike’s sales have in fact gone up a staggering 31%, which is 17% more than the next highest jump in the same period of time in the company’s history.  So, Shoe Burners, you really haven’t done anything to harm Nike or Colin Kaepernick at all. All you’ve done is waste the few hundred bucks you spent on those Jordans.

I’d also like to say this Shoe Burners, I totally respect your decision to not want to wear Nike shoes anymore.  While I disagree with the motives, I, unlike you, understand the first amendment. You have freedom of expression to do and wear what you want.  But, instead of doing something stupid like burning your shoes while they are still on your body, you could do something much less stupid and donate to the troops that you claim to care so much about.  Because, while Colin Kaepernick hasn’t actually done literally anything to harm the troops, as many actual veterans will attest to, PTSD, as many actual veterans will attest to, has. Taking the Vietnam War as an example, around 30 percent of men and 27 percent of women who took part in that military effort now suffer from PTSD today.  While the exact number is unclear, a large percentage of those veterans are sadly living on the streets today due to the fact that it’s hard to attain and sustain a job with those gruesome atrocities constantly spiralling through your head. Even further, many feel the need to turn to self medication to rid of their demons, often in the form of illegal substances that drain time, mental power, and funds, making it close to impossible to be in the workforce.  So, just a thought, instead of incinerating your footwear making it useful to nobody, you could give them to the homeless veterans, the people who you are theoretically fighting for, the people who could really use them while in a time of great struggle and need.

Now, let’s move on from the newer invasive species known as the “Shoe Burners” and to a more common breed, a parasitic species that has been slowly but surely eating away at the sanity of surfers of the World Wide Web ever since its creation in the 1990’s, a breed that seems to divide and multiply by the second. The Internet Trolls.  Since the beginning of Colin Kaepernick’s civil protest in 2016, the Internet Trolls have had a lot to say on the matter. There have been comments concerning his football skill, calling out his ‘lack of character,” questioning his race and ethnicity, calling him a communist, saying he hates America, making fun of his hairstyle, implying he hates the troops, accusing him of being a terrorist, and threatening his life among other things.  But, one of the most common points I’ve seen raised looks something like this: “Why does this OVERPAID SNOWFLAKE make so much money for playing a child’s game?” Well middle aged white guy whose profile picture is a selfie that is way too close to his face exemplifying his poorly trimmed goatee and his bandana with an American Flag and / or a skull and crossbones on it, that is where part two of our fiscal lesson comes into play. Let me teach you the most basic principle of economics, supply and demand.  What it comes down to is this. Being an NFL quarterback is really, really, really hard. But, when someone is able to master that skill, it makes the game really, really, really fun to watch. Because it is so challenging to be an NFL quarterback, there are very few people who can do so successfully. Around 32 at a time to be exact, and that’s including Nathan Peterman. This means that there are around 32 people at a time who can fill this role, out of 7.442 billion people world wide. That is an astronomically low supply.  Then, we can calculate the demand by the popularity of the NFL. Let me tell you, it’s huge. No matter how many times you deny it online, we know exactly what you are doing every Sunday, and that’s watching America’s game. It has an absolutely gargantuan fan base, essentially owning a day of the week, a day of the week that used to be owned by Jesus might I add. Furthermore, the cash flow around the sport is mind boggling. In 2017, the NFL team’s revenue share was North of $8 billion. And that’s not even close to all of the money that any player or entity related to the NFL actually took in.  So, it is safe to say there is a sky high demand. In conclusion, when there is a very low supply and a very high demand, people who fit the description for being one of the suppliers will be given a pretty penny. So, middle aged white guy whose profile picture is of him wearing a shirt that reads “Don’t tread on me” and wearing sunglasses indoors because he thinks it makes him look cool, that’s why Colin Kaepernick makes more than you. He is more of a commodity. It’s not that the leftist snowflake libtards are banding their funds together to start some revolution, it’s because he is comparatively better than you in a field in which it is more difficult to be elite.  Simple supply and demand.

So, I hope this has taught you something about economics.  Next, I recommend a history course. Maybe you can start off in 2013, the year Kaepernick led his 49ers team to the Superbowl, and understand how electric he once was.  Then, you could work your way back in time, way back, to the founding of our great nation, and read up on the premises of the laws our Founding Fathers built this country upon.  Hopefully then you will understand how truly American what Colin is doing actually is. The ability to do what he is doing, respectfully protest for something he thinks is right, exercise his first amendment right, is just about as American as America gets.  It’s what separates us from the communist authoritarian and totalitarian governments we all despise. It’s what makes the United States the greatest country in the world.


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